Yahoo asked Americans to react to President Barack Obama's address on Syria on Tuesday evening. Here's one perspective.
COMMENTARY | On Tuesday, President Barack Obama gave a national address about what comes next concerning Syria. That country's president, Bashar al-Assad, is accused of using chemical weapons to kill more than 1,000 Syrians.
As a Republican voter in Batavia, Ohio, here is what really stood out to me from Obama's remarks:
I was surprised Obama quickly went into the details about how sarin was used against the Syrian people. Obama stated, "Assad's government gassed to death over 1,000 people, including hundreds of children. The images from this massacre are sickening: men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas, others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath, a father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk."
Obama urged Americans to go online and see the videos, even mentioning how social media had evidence of these attacks, so we can all see for ourselves.
Emotion, humanity, compassion and empathy were Obama's selling points, and I have to admit it worked.
Obama admitted he does want to use targeted military force, but he asked Congress to delay the vote, because Assad seems to have agreed to surrender the chemical weapons through a deal with Russia. Obama said: "We will work together in consultation with Russia and China to put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons and to ultimately destroy them under international control." If Assad is willing to do this, then that would be the way to get out of the conflict without putting our troops in another dangerous situation.
I was pleased with Obama's speech because I think he was tough, letting the American people know that if the deal does not work out with Russia, then a targeted military strike will occur, but he was willing to give diplomacy a try first. His speech was not blaming Republicans or Democrats for being reluctant to agree to military action; instead, it focused on why America cannot let an atrocity like this stand.
- Politics & Government
- Barack Obama